29
Jan
2020

King Ali: Top 10 Boxers who sold the most Pay-Per-View in history

World Boxing News 13/01/2020
Muhammad Ali Pay-Per-View

World Boxing News charts the Top Ten all-time Pay-Per-View sellers in the sport. Boxers like Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao have upped the ante, although based on sales alone, the original trailblazers belonged to the 1970s.

Mayweather and Pacquiao hold the joint record for the most buys in one event, whilst their 2015 offering is also the most lucrative of all time.

If you take inflation into account, though, ‘MayPac I’ only comes in at number fifteen on the historical list of money fights.

Muhammad Ali is the king of PPV, with ‘The Greatest’ taking up ten spots in the Top twenty headliners.

During the 1960s and 70s, Ali regularly commanded massive sales worldwide to watch his bouts. The sport was it the height of its powers back then.

This continued until the 1980s and 1990s, although the scale of mass buys was curtailed due to TV rights changes.

Ali’s rivals Joe Frazier and George Foreman make up the top three dominance from that era.

Floyd Mayweather comes in a number four, with career rival Manny Pacquiao at five. Mayweather earned almost one billion dollars over the last decade thanks to inflation of value.

The likes of 90s icons Mike Tyson, Oscar De La Hoya, and Evander Holyfield are next. UFC star Conor McGregor makes the list in between due to one solitary professional bout.

Anthony Joshua, the top UK earner, makes the top ten in the final spot.

Muhammad Ali George Foreman

Top 10 Boxers

(All-Time PPV/Closed Circuit sales combined):

1/ Muhammad Ali – 162.944m (1963-1985)
2/ Joe Frazier 100.5m (1965–1981)
3/ George Foreman 52m (1974–1993)
4/ Floyd Mayweather Jr. 29.09m (2005–2017)
5/ Manny Pacquiao 22.214m (2005–2019)
6/ Mike Tyson 19.1m (1988–2005)
7/ Oscar De La Hoya 14.140m (1995–2008)
8/ Conor McGregor 13,675m (2008–2018 – UFC/Boxing)
9/ Evander Holyfield 12.72m (1984–2003)
10/ Anthony Joshua 10.476m (2015–2019)



TOP 20 most lucrative fights

(with inflation):

*Yellow = Record breaker

Date Fight Buys Revenue Revenue (inflation)

October 30, 1974

 Ali vs Foreman

3,000,000

$60,000,000

$310,000,000

October 1, 1975

 Ali vs Frazier III

3,000,000

$60,000,000

$300,000,000

March 8, 1971

 Ali vs Fazier I

2,500,000

$45,000,000

$284,000,000

September 27, 1976

 Ali vs Norton III

1,500,000

$30,000,000

$130,000,000

April 6, 1987

 Leonard vs Hagler

3,000,000

$40,000,000

$90,020,000

June 27, 1988

 Tyson vs Spinks

800,000

$32,000,000

$69,180,000

Jun 20, 1980

 Duran vs Leonard

1,500,000

$22,000,000

$68,270,000

June 11, 1982

 Holmes vs Cooney

2,000,000

$20,000,000

$52,990,000

February 25, 1964

 Ali vs Liston

700,000

$5,000,000

$41,200,000

July 22, 1963

 Patterson vs Liston II

563,000

$4,747,690

$40,130,000

May 25, 1965

 Ali vs Liston II

630,000

$4,300,000

$34,890,000

November 22, 1965

 Ali vs Patterson

500,000

$4,000,000

$32,500,000

February 6, 1967

 Ali vs Terrell

800,000

$4,000,000

$31,520,000

November 14, 1966

 Ali vs Williams

500,000

$3,750,000

$30,420,000

May 2, 2015

 Mayweather vs Pacquiao

173,000

$25,900,000

$27,940,000

September 25, 1962

 Patterson vs Liston

600,000

$3,200,000

$27,050,000

June 20, 1960

 Patterson vs Johannson II

500,000

$3,000,000

$25,930,000

April 15, 1985

 Hagler vs Hearns

700,000

$10,500,000

$24,960,000

October 26, 1970

 Ali vs Quarry

630,000

$3,500,000

$23,040,000

March 13, 1961

 Patterson vs Johannson III

500,000

$2,500,000

$21,390,000